Penny pinching is much more popular these days and everyone is looking for ways to save money, spend wisely and generally be financially healthier. Here are some suggestions.
1. Turn off the lights when you leave a room, even if for a short time. Mythbusters proved that it's more economical to shut off the lights. Use energy Saving Light Bulbs in all rooms. Use power strips for appliances and turn off all appliances at the wall to save money on electric bills, thismeans if you are not using the TV unplug them, the only item that should always be plugged in is your refrigarator and security system (if you have one)
2. Look for energy saving appliances that bear the energy star label.
3. Keep your freezer full. A freezer works harder when there are fewer contents. This is because the contents will help keep themselves cold and the appliance doesn't have to do it. keeping a 5 pound bag of ice in the freezer helps also
4. Shop at yard sales, garage sales, discount stores and second hand stores, Freecycle, Craigslist, Penneysaver, Recycler. Gently used is not a crime and you should not be ashamed. This is just smart shopping.
5. If you have a water softener be sure to use less soap in your dishwasher and washing machines. This saves quite a bit of money during the year and the clothes and dishes will be just as clean. In your white clothes try a tablespoon of white viniger in the rinse water instead of bleach you will save money here and your clothes will be cleaner and last longer.
6. Shop for generic brand items when possible. If you can combine a coupon with a sale then the name brand item can often be cheaper than the generic. Pay attention to the store sales, weekly coupons and look for the cheapest price at the time. Buy in bulk if you can store it.
7. When travelling shop for souvenirs at local stores instead of tourist traps. Avoid the markups and consult guidebooks and internet sites before leaving town in order to find the best deals and savings.
8. When shopping online always look for coupon codes. If shopping at Amazon hold the item in your cart for a while to see if the price changes. Often times there are big fluctuations.
9. Repurpose items in your house instead of buying new. You can repaint a bookshelf or desk and use it in a different room.
10. Sell any items you have used in a year. If you've gone four season without needing it then it's probably safe to get rid of it. Price the item on sites like ebay to determine if you should sell it online or at a local garage sale.
11. Pay your bills on time to prevent late fees and reconnect fees. If you truly can't pay then make arrangements with the company. Often times you can keep the services going if you make a payment plan and stick with it.